And not terribly complicated in how they work. The concept fits mostly in one animation: https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-e01cffa77db21231f6d9da...
The idea seemed so cool to the college grad in me. Clearly there are problems with ammunition handling in actual battle situations and/or long term storage that probably made this a non-viable war machine similar to the G11.
Accuracy is very low, portability requires a vehicle, wear is quite high on the "outside" side of the channel.
Feels as effective as a repeating shotgun mounted on a car.
Dunno, an AA-12 loaded with HE-12 explosive rounds mounted on a car or truck could be a very effective mid-range area of denial tool.
> In firearms, rifling refers to the helical groovings that are machined into the internal (bore) surface of a gun's barrel, for the purpose of exerting torque and thus imparting a spin to a projectile around its longitudinal axis during shooting. This spin serves to gyroscopically stabilize the projectile by conservation of angular momentum, improving its aerodynamic stability and accuracy over smoothbore designs.
Another possibility would be to have a belt that accelerates the projectile. The "ammunition" in that case would be batteries and inert projectiles. Like a propane gun, velocity could be customized for each shot by varying the belt speed.
Heat management would also be a huge issue, spent casings carry away a surprisingly large amount of heat, and even then most guns are unable to sustain continuous fire rates for long. This was a serious issue with case-less ammunition designs for instance.
I also wonder how important the gas exchange caused by the mechanical cycling of the action is to cooling, as most modern rifles are pretty well sealed when in battery.
It turns out its very practical to have fully contained ammo with casing, semi-waterproof, shockproof, can last decades easily and super cheap to make due to economies of scale. Heat dissipation from barrel friction is an unsolved problem, you can't just skip around physical constraints.
Also, having variable power isn't very practical - you want a steady point of hit for consistent fire, otherwise you would have to re-adjust gun sights/scope every single time. One of the biggest pain points of even modern air rifles - as the air pressure goes down, so does velocity of the pellets and your precision.
I think we will see sooner some sort of plasma guns than standard ammunition shot via similar ways.
For what it's worth, both ideas are represented by weapons in the old Cyberpunk 2020 rulebook so they must have been in the zeitgeist someplace:
* the Royal Enfield Ordnance Liquid Propellant Assault Rifle LPA1 http://rpg.web-mage.ca/pages/weapdesc.php?id=995
* the Malorian Arms Sliver Gun http://rpg.web-mage.ca/pages/weapdesc.php?id=824
[Inset obligatory 'Ignition!' reference].
Basically when you pull the trigger rangefinder finds the range and camera takes photos one after another - waiting for the gun to get up enough so that the point that was targetted will be hit with the range that was measured.
Gunner's hands are shaking a little so he will soon get on target, and then the trigger is electronically released. You also need some timeout so that if more than for example 100 ms passes without arriving at the target it fires anyway.
The technology is there, very similar algorithms are used in smartphone cameras to harness shaking hands for higher photo resolution. The main problem is gun people distrust towards electronic in their guns.
(Again, my opinion.)
So you can make magazines that aren't possible with the traditional cartridges - like pipe magazines for strong rifle cartridges for example (hard to do with impact primers).
I'm thinking a long plastic pipe with cartridges inside that is attached paralel to the barrel. Then you just discard it with a button and put another pipe magazine under the barrel from the front. Should be fairly comfortable even with bullpups.
Additionally you can make a side port in the magazine so that you can load it with single bullets like with old wild-west rifles :)
Someone really needs to try this. I’d love to mess around with a prototype. What if you could 3D print your magazine pipes?
I'm thinking just a small battery, or even a capacitor. Charged by the recoil.
I love it.
I grew up with bullpups and I find non-bullpup awkward to reload and harder to deal with malfunctions, and certainly more awkward to carry (American soldiers seem to have to bend their wrist when carrying their rifles where British soldiers have everything in line.)
And you don't reach into your armpit - you rotate it and then you can immediately see into the breech and manipulate it.
I rotate my right hand (that's holding the pistol grip) 90 degrees to the right, then yes reach over and grab the bolt with my other hand. My hand doesn't leave the pistol grip and the butt doesn't leave my shoulder. It's never occurred to me that it might be awkward - feels very natural to me.
How do you feel about the fact that your charging handle isn't physically connected to your bolt on an AR-style rifle? I like the fact that I can directly grip my bolt and force it into or out of battery. I think on the AR you've got separate controls to pull the bolt back and to push it forward (forward assist) and neither are physically connected as they aren't reciprocating.
And great point, the charging handle not being part of the actual bolt. On the AR the forward assist is only doing work after the bolt has been “released” from the catch. A crappy charging handle can definitely cause more malfunctions. It’s also another part to clean.
Voila - cheap semi->auto conversion that works on any semi gun and can be made in under 1 hour and 100 USD.
Or you can just buy a bump stock.
Compared to that hacking the electronic trigger is anything but easy.
Any other gas based system needs to deal with keeping exploding gas from leaking out the holes through which you feed in new bullets.
Though you can find credible marksmen that know all this, yet fail to win. It's rigged.
it would have the same advantages - cheap projectiles, no gunpowder and mostly silent.
there's also this:
Once the electrical rail machine gun is built, the per-shot costs are pretty low (copper, lead, machining) and grid supplied energy (hello supply-lines), but then a 7.62x51mm NATO round is $0.42 (in volume).
The rail guns that being trialed are monsters: not a whole lot of point in shooting a $0.42 NATO round when you have nuclear power generator to recharge the gun. By the same token, there's probably not a whole lot of point spending $100k per soldier to kit them with a barely portable weapon that is matched by a $2,000 AR-15 firing $0.42 mass-produced ammunition with a mature supply line and easy portability.
But, yeah, I'd like to see them, too...
Incidentally, such a Tesla-machinegun would not be regulated as a firearm in many/most jurisdictions.
> the per-shot costs are pretty low (copper, lead, machining)
Bullets are not machined (except for exotic uses where insane accuracy is required-- 1000yd championships employing exotic chamberings and weapons, etc).
I'm reasonably sure that anything that can fire projectiles with more than a few Joules is a weapon in Germany.
I watch it for Jörg's cackling laughter and facility in ginning up impractical weapons, but it's good for the above reason as well.
Yes, you would obviously need a (1-3 shot) capacitor bank, along with 1/8th of the Tesla's battery pack.
Not to say I condone such matters, but curiosity wonders the same.